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James Truchard - National Instruments. Austin, TX, US

James Truchard James Truchard

National Instruments


Expert in Engineering Innovation in the Era of Graphical System Design





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Dr. James Truchard, National Instruments president and CEO, cofounded the company in 1976 while working at The University of Texas at Austin. Under Truchard's leadership, National Instruments has pioneered the development of virtual instrumentation software and hardware that has revolutionized the way engineers design and develop measurement and automation applications.

In 1986, Truchard and Jeff Kodosky invented NI LabVIEW graphical development software. With LabVIEW, engineers and scientists can use graphical system design to quickly and intuitively build customer-defined solutions for test, control, and embedded design applications.

As NI has grown from a three-man team to a multinational organization with more than 6,000 employees, Truchard continues to lead the company with the same entrepreneurial mindset that led to its inception more than 30 years ago. He focuses on ensuring employees have a working environment that fosters innovation, and as a result, NI has seen 33 years of growth in its 35-year history.

Truchard’s long-term course for NI equally balances the success of its four stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, and suppliers. Truchard and his management team have created an award-winning corporate culture that has been recognized as one of the top 25 companies to work for in the world on "The World's Best Multinational Workplaces" by the Great Place to Work Institute.

Truchard also is an active supporter of the NI academic program which focuses on growing students’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through hands-on, project-based learning.

Before founding NI, Truchard worked as managing director of the acoustical measurements division at Applied Research Laboratories at The University of Texas at Austin. Truchard holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, as well as a master of science and bachelor of science in physics, all from The University of Texas at Austin.

Industry Expertise (2)

Electrical Engineering

Corporate Leadership

Areas of Expertise (2)


Engineering Technology Leadership

Accomplishments (11)

America’s Sixth Favorite CEO by FORBES magazine and (2010) (professional)

University of Texas Distinguished Engineering Graduate (2004) (professional)

Elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (2003) (professional)

50 Most Influential Industry Innovators by In Tech magazine (2003) (professional)

Received Honorary Member Award by ISA (2002) (professional)

In recognition of contributions to the arts and sciences of instrumentation, systems, and automation as an innovative chief executive of an outstanding company.

Inducted into Electronic Design’s Engineering Hall of Fame (2002) (professional)

Inducted into Electronic Design’s Engineering Hall of Fame for his work in pioneering virtual instrumentation

Frost & Sullivan CEO of the Year for the test and measurement industry (2001) (professional)

Worth Magazine’s 50 Best CEOs in the Nation (1998, 1999, 2000) (professional)

Named One of the Nation's 50 Best CEOs for the third consecutive year by Worth magazine

Entrepreneur of the Year (1991) (professional)

Ernest & Young, Inc, Merrill Lynch, Austin Business Journal and Dell named Truchard Entrepreneur of the Year

Texas High Technology Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1999) (professional)

Texas High Technology Entrepreneur Award (1987) (professional)

Received one of the first Texas High Technology Entrepreneur awards from KPMG Peat Marwick

Education (3)

University of Texas at Austin: PhD, Electrical Engineering 1974

University of Texas at Austin: BS, Physics 1964

University of Texas at Austin: MS, Physics 1967

Affiliations (10)

  • Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
  • Engineering Foundation Advisory Council
  • ISA
  • National Academy of Engineering
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • Texas STEM Industry Advisory Council
  • 2020 Committee for the University of Texas College of Engineering
  • Founding member of the Austin Software Council
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society
  • University of Texas at Austin Chancellor's Council

Event Appearances (1)


The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas Annual Meeting 2005, “Exploring New Research Areas”  Austin, TX

Sample Talks (1)

Innovation in the Era of Graphical System Design



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist


*Will consider certain engagements for no fee